Eating At the Lake of the Ozarks: 7 Questions for Michael Castle


The small business owners that work hard day in and day out are what help make the Lake of the Ozarks such a desirable destination all year ’round.

This week, we sat down with Michael Castle, owner of On The Rise Bakery & Woodfired Bistro in Osage Beach — To ask him how food has changed over the years, what it’s like to make it in the restaurant business, and what dishes he’s most excited about for this fall.

CWV: You’ve come full circle, beginning your culinary career at The Potted Steer in Osage Beach, graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in NYC and now owner of On the Rise Bakery & Woodfired Bistro in Osage Beach, among other food-related ventures. How has the food scene evolved at the Lake of the Ozarks since you started your own culinary journey years ago?
MC: The foodie education in America has improved drastically over the 10 years or so with the advent of the Food Network as well as all ofimage1 the chef “personality” shows that are on television right now. I think it’s contributed to the elevation of the everyday chef at home and my customers come in to dine with a better idea of what we are trying to accomplish at On the Rise.

CWV: As we head full-swing into fall, what dishes and flavors are you most excited about at your restaurant?
MC: My favorite dish this time of year is our Meyer lemon Crispini with caramelized onions, prosciutto ham, goat cheese, arugula and of course, Meyer lemons.  It’s our way of holding onto the last burst of summer as we move into Autumn.

CWV: Many of our guests like to bake for their families and with their kids. Do you have any tips, tricks, or best practices when it comes to baking at home?
MC: Baking is mostly science with a lot of common sense thrown in. Don’t be afraid to try everything…it’s not like people will complain that your house smells great!

CWV: What serves as the inspiration for the delectable menu items you create at On the Rise?
MC: Inspiration…that comes from “everywhere” and it never ceases to slow down. I love to create.

CWV: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of owning a restaurant at the Lake oimage3f the Ozarks?
MC: I think like most people, it’s the simple pride you take in doing things well. Owning a restaurant also provides a create outlet when it comes to food and design as well as the challenges of running what I believe to be the most difficult business one can enter into.

CWV: Who are a few of your culinary heroes and why them?
MC: Any chef that has managed to run a successful restaurant while holding himself and everyone around him to the highest of standards…Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria and Grant Achatz to name a few. But, I cannot leave my good friend Chef Dan Frederickson!

CWV: What advice or wisdom would you give to children, teens, or adults who or are considering the culinary path?
MC: First of all, there is no glamour in the restaurant business, despite what you see on television. The hours will be grueling, the demands never wane and to be successful in this business, you better be demanding of yourself as well as those around you and be confident in your own vision. If you’re okay with all of that, you are going to LOVE it!


Thirsty Thursdays at Bear Bottom Resort – Don’t Miss Out!

Photo by Bear Bottom Resort

Photo by Bear Bottom Resort

Now, here’s something both kids AND adults can agree on!

Bear Bottom Resorts, home to Missouri’s number 1 and number 2 longest open flume body waterslides, has a special every Thursday that kids and adults can enjoy.

Every Thursday, it’s only $5.00 after 5pm for armbands, along with 30 cent wings and dollar drafts from 6pm until 8pm. 

That means kids (and adults who are still kids at heart) can slip, slide, and get soaked!

And for the adults who want to stay dry, enjoy deliciously decadent wing and ice-cold dollar drafts to cool off from the summer heat.

The waterslides are open from 10am until 11pm, daily.

Bear Bottom Resort is in Sunrise Beach,  located at Mile Marker 38 of the Osage Arm.

20 Things To Do This Memorial Day Weekend At the Lake of the Ozarks


It’s time to kick off the summer the right way!!

Memorial Day weekend is a perfect time to relax and unwind with those you love most. And to remember all of the men and women who sacrificed so that we can live in freedom.

Here’s the latest weather forecast for this weekend. We might see some storms on Saturday, but Sunday is looking beautiful!

We’ve put together a list of 20 things to do at the Lake of the Ozarks this Memorial Day weekend. Take a look below, be safe, and enjoy your weekend!



  1. 5th Annual Parade of Lights
  2. Chow down on some delicious BBQ
  3. Fireworks!
  4. City of Versailles BBQ challenge
  5. Visit a winery
  6. Treat yourself to a relaxing day at the Spa
  7. Explore down under…and visit one of Missouri’s many caves
  8. Don’t forget the fishing pole. Catch the big one!
  9. Shop ’til you drop
  10. Rent a boat and relax on the lake
  11. Find unexpected treasures at the lake’s many antique shops
  12. FREE LIVE music at the Bagnell Dam’s concert series
  13. Bar Hop Cruise this Saturday and Sunday
  14. Take the kids to Pirate Cove for a mini-golf adventure!
  15. Find delicious dessert at Andy’s Frozen Custard
  16. Test your bravery at the swinging bridge
  17. Bask in quiet, relaxing nature at Ha Ha Tonka State Park
  18. See the Best Show In Town at Main Street Music Hall
  19. Fresh fish and steak at JB Hooks…unbeatable!
  20. Keep it simple: Read a book, play games with the family, just be…

Interesting Trivia For Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Turkey Day. Thanksgiving Day. A day where you eat too much and watch plenty of football.

However your Thanksgiving looks, here are some interesting facts about this oh-so-American holiday:

  • A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
  • 1796 was the first year a pumpkin pie recipe appeared. It was featured in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons and was called ‘Pompkin Pudding.’
  • The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a staple — it first started in the 1920’s.
  • Believe it or not…turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
  • An estimated 254 million turkeys were raised for slaughter in the U.S. during 2012 – US Department of Agriculture
  • Food that was thought to have been present at the first Thanksgiving feast: Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese.
  • This year, the beginning of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving falls on the very same day.
  • At one point in American history, the turkey and bald eagle were considered to serve as the national symbol of America. You can guess which one won…
  • Age is a determining factor in taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) as tom meat is stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds.
  • Wild turkeys can run some 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 kilometers) an hour and fly in bursts at 55 miles (89 kilometers) an hour.

Sources:, Chicago Now,, National Geographic

27th Annual Turkey Festival in Eldon This Saturday

Photo courtesy: Eldon Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy: Eldon Chamber of Commerce

With Fall officially here, Turkeys beware! 😀

This Saturday, September 28th is Eldon’s 27th Annual Turkey Festival in Downtown Eldon.

The day will be packed full of delicious food, fantastic live music, as well as a parade, Demolition Derby at the Miller County Fairgrounds, and the Turkey Trot 5k run/walk. Something for the entire family!

Besides being a great time for the family, it’s also an opportunity to give back. The Eldon Food Pantry will be accepting canned goods and can be taken to the Parade Registration Desk. Be sure to check your pantry before heading to the festival!

The festival begins at 8 a.m. and lasts until 10 p.m.

Some events to keep in mind:

Friday, September 27th

  • Eldon Turkey Festival Little Mr. & Miss Contest – 6pm – Eldon South Elementary School

Saturday, September 28th

  • Turkey Festival Parade – 10 a.m.
  • Shake Your Tail Feathers Flower Show – 1 p.m. til 4 p.m.
  • Turkey Festival Demolition Derby – 5:30 p.m.

If you have any other questions, be sure to contact the Eldon Chamber at (573) 392-3752.